JavaScript
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Permalink
Failed to load latest commit information.
bench
dist
docs
scripts
src
test
.eslintrc
.gitignore
.npmignore
.prettierrc
.travis.yml
CHANGELOG.md
LICENSE.md
README.md
bower.json
klipse-github-docs.config.js
package-lock.json
package.json
rollup.config.js

README.md

Fastener · GitHub stars npm

Zippers are a powerful abstraction for implementing arbitrary queries and transforms on immutable data structures and for step-by-step navigation and modification of data structures. This library implements a simple zipper designed for manipulating JSON data.

npm version Bower version Build Status Code Coverage

Contents

Tutorial

Playing with zippers in a REPL can be very instructive. First we require the libraries

import * as F from "fastener"
import * as R from "ramda"

and define a little helper using reduce to perform a sequence of operations on a value:

const seq = (x, ...fs) => R.reduce((x, f) => f(x), x, fs)

Let's work with the following simple JSON object:

const data = {contents: [{language: "en", text: "Title"},
                         {language: "sv", text: "Rubrik"}]}

First we just create a zipper using F.toZipper:

seq(F.toZipper(data))
// { focus: { contents: [ [Object], [Object] ] } }

As can be seen, the zipper is just a simple JSON object and the focus is the data object that we gave to F.toZipper. As long the data structure being manipulated is JSON, you can serialize and deserialize zippers as JSON. However, it is recommended that you use the zipper combinators to operate on zippers rather than rely on their exact format.

Let's then move into the contents property of the object using F.downTo:

seq(F.toZipper(data),
    F.downTo('contents'))
// { left: null,
//   focus:
//    [ { language: 'en', text: 'Title' },
//      { language: 'sv', text: 'Rubrik' } ],
//   key: 'contents',
//   right: null }

As seen above, the focus now has the contents array. We can use F.get to extract the value under focus:

seq(F.toZipper(data),
    F.downTo('contents'),
    F.get)
// [ { language: 'en', text: 'Title' },
//   { language: 'sv', text: 'Rubrik' } ]

Then we move into the first element of contents using F.downHead:

seq(F.toZipper(data),
    F.downTo('contents'),
    F.downHead)
// { left: null,
//   focus: { language: 'en', text: 'Title' },
//   key: 0,
//   right: [ null, { language: 'sv', text: 'Rubrik' } ],
//   up: { left: null, key: 'contents', right: null } }

And continue into the first property of that which happens to be the language:

seq(F.toZipper(data),
    F.downTo('contents'),
    F.downHead,
    F.downHead)
// { left: null,
//   focus: 'en',
//   key: 'language',
//   right: [ null, 'Title', 'text' ],
//   up:
//    { left: null,
//      key: 0,
//      right: [ null, [Object] ],
//      up: { left: null, key: 'contents', right: null } } }

And to the next property, title, using F.right:

seq(F.toZipper(data),
    F.downTo('contents'),
    F.downHead,
    F.downHead,
    F.right)
// { left: [ null, 'en', 'language' ],
//   focus: 'Title',
//   key: 'text',
//   right: null,
//   up:
//    { left: null,
//      key: 0,
//      right: [ null, [Object] ],
//      up: { left: null, key: 'contents', right: null } } }

Let's then use F.modify to modify the title:

seq(F.toZipper(data),
    F.downTo('contents'),
    F.downHead,
    F.downHead,
    F.right,
    F.modify(t => "The " + t))
// { left: [ null, 'en', 'language' ],
//   focus: 'The Title',
//   key: 'text',
//   right: null,
//   up:
//    { left: null,
//      key: 0,
//      right: [ null, [Object] ],
//      up: { left: null, key: 'contents', right: null } } }

When we now move outwards using F.up we can see the changed title become part of the data:

seq(F.toZipper(data),
    F.downTo('contents'),
    F.downHead,
    F.downHead,
    F.right,
    F.modify(t => "The " + t),
    F.up)
// { left: null,
//   key: 0,
//   right: [ null, { language: 'sv', text: 'Rubrik' } ],
//   up: { left: null, key: 'contents', right: null },
//   focus: { language: 'en', text: 'The Title' } }

We can also just move back to the root and get the updated data structure using F.fromZipper:

seq(F.toZipper(data),
    F.downTo('contents'),
    F.downHead,
    F.downHead,
    F.right,
    F.modify(t => "The " + t),
    F.fromZipper)
// { contents:
//    [ { language: 'en', text: 'The Title' },
//      { language: 'sv', text: 'Rubrik' } ] }

The above hopefully helped to understand how zippers work. However, it is important to realize that one typically does not use zipper combinators to create such a specific sequence of operations. One rather uses the zipper combinators to create new combinators that perform more complex operations directly.

Let's first define a zipper combinator that, given a zipper focused on an array, tries to focus on an element inside the array that satisfies a given predicate:

const find = R.curry((p, z) => F.downTo(R.findIndex(p, F.get(z)), z))

Like all the basic zipper movement combinators, F.downTo is a partial function that returns undefined in case the index is out of bounds. Let's define a simple function to compose partial functions:

const pipePartial = (...fs) => z => {
  for (let i=0; z !== undefined && i<fs.length; ++i)
    z = fs[i](z)
  return z
}

We can now compose a zipper combinator that, given a zipper focused on an object like data, tries to focus on the text element of an object with the given language inside the contents:

const textIn = language => pipePartial(
  F.downTo('contents'),
  find(R.whereEq({language})),
  F.downTo('text'))

Now we can say:

seq(data,
    F.toZipper,
    textIn("en"),
    F.modify(x => 'The ' + x),
    F.fromZipper)
// { contents:
//    [ { language: 'en', text: 'The Title' },
//      { language: 'sv', text: 'Rubrik' } ] }

Of course, this just scratches the surface. Zippers are powerful enough to implement arbitrary transforms on data structures. This can also make them more difficult to compose and reason about than more limited approaches such as lenses.

Reference

The zipper combinators are available as named imports. Typically one just imports the library as:

import * as F from "fastener"

In the following examples we will make use of the function

const seq = (x, ...fs) => R.reduce((x, f) => f(x), x, fs)

written using reduce that allows one to express a sequence of operations to perform starting from a given value.

Introduction and Elimination

F.toZipper(json) ~> zipper

F.toZipper(json) creates a new zipper that is focused on the root of the given JSON object.

For example:

seq(F.toZipper([1,2,3]),
    F.downHead,
    F.modify(x => x + 1),
    F.fromZipper)
// [ 2, 2, 3 ]

F.fromZipper(zipper) ~> json

F.fromZipper(zipper) extracts the modified JSON object from the given zipper.

For example:

seq(F.toZipper([1,2,3]),
    F.downHead,
    F.modify(x => x + 1),
    F.fromZipper)
// [ 2, 2, 3 ]

Focus

Focus combinators allow one to inspect and modify the element that a zipper is focused on.

F.get(zipper) ~> json

F.get(zipper) returns the element that the zipper is focused on.

For example:

seq(F.toZipper(1), F.get)
// 1
seq(F.toZipper(["a","b","c"]),
    F.downTo(2),
    F.get)
// 'c'

F.modify(json => json, zipper) ~> zipper

F.modify(fn, zipper) is equivalent to F.set(fn(F.get(zipper)), zipper) and replaces the element that the zipper is focused on with the value returned by the given function for the element.

For example:

seq(F.toZipper(["a","b","c"]),
    F.downTo(2),
    F.modify(x => x + x),
    F.fromZipper)
// [ 'a', 'b', 'cc' ]

F.set(json, zipper) ~> zipper

F.set(json, zipper) replaces the element that the zipper is focused on with the given value.

For example:

seq(F.toZipper(["a","b","c"]),
    F.downTo(1),
    F.set('lol'),
    F.fromZipper)
// [ 'a', 'lol', 'c' ]

Movement

Movement combinators can be applied to any zipper, but they return undefined in case of illegal moves.

Parent-Child movement

Parent-Child movement is moving the focus between a parent object or array and a child element of said parent.

F.downHead(zipper) ~> maybeZipper

F.downHead(zipper) moves the focus to the leftmost element of the object or array that the zipper is focused on.

F.downLast(zipper) ~> maybeZipper

F.downLast(zipper) moves the focus to the rightmost element of the object or array that the zipper is focused on.

F.downTo(key, zipper) ~> maybeZipper

F.downTo(key, zipper) moves the focus to the specified object property or array index of the object or array that the zipper is focused on.

F.keyOf(zipper) ~> maybeKey

F.keyOf(zipper) returns the object property name or the array index that the zipper is currently focused on.

F.up(zipper) ~> maybeZipper

F.up(zipper) moves the focus from an array element or object property to the containing array or object.

Path movement

Path movement is moving the focus along a path from a parent object or array to a nested child element.

F.downPath([...keys], zipper) ~> maybeZipper

F.downPath(path, zipper) moves the focus along the specified path of keys.

F.pathOf(zipper) ~> [...keys]

F.pathOf(zipper) returns the path from the root to the current element focused on by the zipper.

Sibling movement

Sibling movement is moving the focus between the elements of an array or an object.

F.head(zipper) ~> maybeZipper

F.head(zipper) moves the focus to the leftmost sibling of the current focus.

F.last(zipper) ~> maybeZipper

F.last(zipper) moves the focus to the rightmost sibling of the current focus.

F.left(zipper) ~> maybeZipper

F.left(zipper) moves the focus to the element on the left of the current focus.

F.right(zipper) ~> maybeZipper

F.right(zipper) moves the focus to the element on the right of the current focus.

Queries

F.queryMove(zipper => maybeZipper, value, zipper => value, zipper) ~> value

F.queryMove(move, default, fn, zipper) applies the given function fn to the zipper focused on after the given movement and returns the result unless the move was illegal in which case the given default value is returned instead.

For example:

seq(F.toZipper({x: 1}),
    F.queryMove(F.downTo('y'), false, () => true))
// false
seq(F.toZipper({y: 1}),
    F.queryMove(F.downTo('y'), false, () => true))
// true

Transforms

F.transformMove(move, zipper => zipper, zipper) ~> zipper

F.transformMove(move, fn, zipper) applies the given function to the zipper focused on after the given movement. The movement move must be one of F.downHead, F.downLast, F.downTo(key), F.left, F.right, or F.up. The function fn must the return a zipper focused on the same element that it was given. Then the focus is moved back to the element that the zipper was originally focused on. Nothing is done in case of an illegal move.

For example:

seq(F.toZipper({y: 1}),
    F.transformMove(F.downTo('y'), F.modify(x => x + 1)),
    F.fromZipper)
// { y: 2 }
seq(F.toZipper({x: 1}),
    F.transformMove(F.downTo('y'), F.modify(x => x + 1)),
    F.fromZipper)
// { x: 1 }

F.everywhere(json => json, zipper) ~> zipper

F.everywhere(fn, zipper) performs a transform of the focused element by modifying each possible focus of the element with a bottom-up traversal.

For example:

seq(F.toZipper({foo: 1,
                bar: [{lol: "bal", example: 2}]}),
    F.everywhere(x => typeof x === "number" ? x + 1 : x),
    F.fromZipper)
// { foo: 2, bar: [ { lol: 'bal', example: 3 } ] }

Related Work

While the implementation is very different, the choice of combinators is based on Michael D. Adams' paper Scrap Your Zippers.